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Heroes: Fake, Known And The True

By Ogadimma Mbadiwe
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I love Superman: the way he appears from the sky at crucial moments, committed to ending injustice, bringing peace, hope and joy to people. Sadly, he is only a fictional character. But as evil seems to be dominating our world; I think life actually needs more of such heroes.

When I was younger, I earnestly prayed to be invincible like Superman, smart and courageous like Batman and fierce like Hulk. I wanted to be a superhero, to help in putting an end to injustice in my world. That was a weird childhood dream anyway.

Then, I was unaware that our world is filled with my kind of weirdoes who are or were disturbed to bring justice. Sadly, even with the great percentage of children that dreamt of becoming heroes, many grow to be the injustice they desired to end. That prompted a keener look into the understanding of heroes and what makes deeds heroic.

Basically, heroes are cohorts of Good while villains are Evil cronies. The rival entities: Good and evil have been at war from the beginning of time, and the pioneers of the positive and negative characters of men. Some are born peaceful or arrogant, some greedy or generous and so on. However, every character is subject to change, conditioning people to let go of their inborn behaviour.

Humanity cannot survive when evil thrives, which is why we habitually despise selfish acts towards us. But how we address selfish or evil people has a lot to do with our survival. Before diving into convictions, we ought to recognize the role of nature: we are all simply exhibiting nature’s imposed personality. Good or generous people are simply fortunate while the Evil or selfish are simply unfortunate to be adorned with nature’s ill-fated character, outside these exist the rare which are reformed by influence. This understanding puts one at edge to overcoming negative characters.

Majority of the world population stand out for good, yet evil fans are winning. A basic factor accountable for the abnormal victory is our failure to identify our true heroes, living unrecognized amongst us.

A Hero is primarily someone admired for doing something brave. For intelligibility, attention would be drawn to three basic forms of heroes: Fake, Known and theUnknown-but-True Heroes.

Known Heroes
These are good people who hate injustice, born with a natural drive to bring goodness. They love doing good and so, copy and grow in qualities that bring about justice with or without encouragement. They love what they do. That love or desire energizes them to keep doing good; we love them.

Fake Heroes
These are the phony type of our Known Heroes. They are driven by the pride and admiration that follows heroic deeds. They usually employ lies, fraud, masked injustice and the likes to reach their putrid target—admiration. They are usually ready to input more to make sure their deeds do not flow unrecognized. Sadly, this class makes up the greater percentage of heroes in our world, and they contribute more to the problems faced by humanity. Few illustrations will be employed to bare their ways.

A common class of Fake Heroes is the sham aids. They appear as helpers but are solely interested in defacing people’s dreams to promote their eminence. They give you opportunity to grow only when they are certain you will fail so as to appear as heroes that save the day. But if you eventually overcome the situation, they still gain glory as heroes that made you. An example is the case of two brothers; the elder is the only organist in his band, the younger was an amateur who joined the team to learn organ. He learnt to play a pattern of music which his elder is aware of. But contrary to his expectations, his brother only gives him opportunity to exercise what he learnt at times when the melody is almost set to switch to a pattern he do not know. As a result, the younger will play well for some seconds and fail. The elder then appears as a hero in the midst of distressed audiences and saves the day, building his recognition while demeaning the brother.

A friend at a time started sharing creative and educative posts on his Facebook wall. I inquired to know books he is gaining the wisdom from. “They are my thoughts”, he would say. But because I believed I had known the scope of his capability, I had doubts he could grow such ability and I battled to recognize the place of change in his case. His posts drew much likes and I finally recognized and commended his intelligence and creativity. I had placed him in the class of intelligent writers till the day I began seeing some of his smart posts, some paraphrased, on some websites, dated farther than his. He chose not to honor the authors, all for the sake of veneration as a Creative writer. He did well by sharing creative and educative messages which were beneficial to the readers but like the organist, he remains in the circle of Fake Heroes.

A similar instance of fake heroes is the trending manner of birthday celebration. Even the most vicious and selfish now celebrate with or help the less privileged in front of a camera, all for the recognition as a person of humane character. Well, we can do with this type because they do not hurt but only feed their ego, while the less privileged benefits.

An everyday example of fake heroes are individuals that delight in exaggerating and spreading imperfections of people around them in an effort to shift attention from their usually worst shortcomings; their target is to manipulate people around them through such diversion of attention to recognizing them as impeccable personalities. They usually reach their putrid goal while quashing the selfless labors of some unknown heroes.

The most lethal kind of fake heroes is the kind that tends to fight evil. Not like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but more like a clothed wolf, exposing a shepherd dog’s carnivorous and unruly nature with goal of ousting it from the helm in order to be in charge. Unfortunately, sheep are easily misled, only a very insignificant number understands them. For the sake of objectivity, we have a hint. Practically, no human system exists without iotas of corruption or evil. But because the masses are usually naïve, fake heroes, who usually harbor more dreadful corrupt intents, rule. They win by exposing common corrupt practices of the reigning system, promising true change.

That earns them mass love and honor as the pure and perfect personality to support. And even when some deceived supporters start discerning their true nature, they find it difficult to change their supportive path (due to pride or shame), shunning the government’s criticism and always finding reasons to justify the bad government’s actions. Outside people that support sheepishly because of emotional, tribal, political or religious connection, many deceived supporters are unable to overcome their ego wanting their prejudiced arguments which campaigned for the reigning wolfs to be seen as a failure, taking a bloodbath risk by breaking a unifying spirit which could be used to overcome the putrid system just to shift attention from people recognizing their imperfections.

Another clue to knowing them is that while reigning, their major energy is focused on fighting the flaws of the past, cleverly devised to subdue the minds of the masses so that they won’t notice or remark their growing worst situation. Some of our masters cautioned against these fake heroes: “the secret of change is to focus all energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”, Socrates.

The Unknown-but-True Heroes
True heroes are born with evil traits like larceny, selfishness, egotism, sadism and so on. They are controlled like puppets by their imposed nature to delight in doing evil. However, situations do grow their emotion, thoughtfulness and humility to recognize their erroneous nature which is the greatest and most difficult step to becoming an ideal man. The self-recognition helps in their consideration and anticipation of a better world. They are then moved to fight their cherished evil desires like selfishness, giving up their lives for a better future for all. We love and need them, but they need more of our encouragements.

To illustrate, a covetous man who is moved to be generous might only resolve to help with ₦50 in a situation that nobly requires ₦1000. That is quite diminutive in the sight of inherent generous people, but a very tasking noble deed for one in the process of growing a generous character.

Our appraisal in such little acts of kindness would help them grow their generosity to doing more, subsequently. But because most critics are ignorant of the imposed bad nature, they stick to judging them as the selfish, a big discouragement. The inborn covetous men are free to live the selfish life they relish in, with no reproachful intrusion, yet, a lot of them still decided to keep doing good even with discouraging comments coming from supposed encouraging mouths.

True heroes do what they dislike, copy qualities they detest and seek to grow in them even with much negligence and condemnation from people. Undeniably, they exhibit true selflessness, taking a hazardous lane of hurting their natural drives for the sake of a better world. Their situation is like an aged darkness opening its eyes to a burning light; a very tough task, unlike light focusing on darkness, which is the laidback situation of the known heroes.

Nobody is immune to such negativity as bias; this recognition is the first step to being a hero. Even the most neutral writers, in obsession or anger, reason in a confinement that bounds their writings to be irrational. But they consciously work towards breaking the irrationalities before publication. Winning the biased drives makes them heroes. Some parade themselves as people who never make biased reasoning not to talk of having biased believes.

I usually sum up such people as the core but holy fanatics. “I remember those days we use to delude ourselves by calling colleagues 'rational thinker'… A little knowledge of psychology or behavioral economics will tell you that humans, educated or not, smart or not, are hardly rational. Hardly. Predictably Irrational.” (Obiora Gideon).

Veneration has always served as a great motivator for men, that is why we might notice some class of good men or peace seekers that work tirelessly, although love of peace energizes them, recognition and honor usually drives them to do more. Our True heroes deserve and actually needs our honor, but we are yet to recognize them.

Current life’s complex conditions hinder us from identifying our true idols, resulting in the enlistment of merely good men as heroes. But being a good person or doing good works does not make one a hero. Everybody has the tendency to think and do bad, however, the ability to conquer the evil urge with fairness makes one a hero. We should also note that being a hero is not a lifetime status; a hero now can be a non-hero or even a villain in the next minute.

Being a hero is the noblest thing, but for aspiring Unknown-but-True heroes who think they might not have the strength to live a full hero life without encouragement, note: “A hero is made in a moment, not from questioning the past or fearing what is to come” (SmallVille).

Known Heroes have a natural drive to be virtuous. They enjoy and do so with passion, no matter how little their encouragement is. Their deeds are plausible and they are usually recognized. That’s unlike our true heroes who have a natural drive to be unjust. Yet they fight nature; denying themselves sadistic pleasures for the superior good of their world. I see them as greater heroes who need much of our support to grow.

Their Lack of backing, contributes chiefly to the unsustainability of their change, usually resulting in the development of a more brutal or evil nature of some. But we can save the situation by recognizing and supporting their selfless acts, no matter how minute.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ogadimma Mbadiwe and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."